Antique: The Province Where the Mountains Meet the Sea
A region shrouded in mystery and cloaked with an eerie folklore, the Western Visayas is always perceived as a creepy destination for tourists. Some say, it’s the place where mythical creatures lurk even in broad daylight. Whether that’s true or not, no one can deny the fact that it’s one of the most beautiful regions in the Philippines.
The region offers a lush surrounding, pristine ocean, and alpine peaks that will leave you wanting to come back. It is also filled with hospitable people who will make your stay worthwhile.
If you’re unsure which among the six provinces of Western Visayas you should visit first, better start in the Antique Province, where the mountains meet the sea.
10 Must-Visit Tourist Spots in Antique Province
The province of Antique lies in the westernmost part of the Visayas. It’s where “the mountains meet the sea,” as it borders the provinces of Aklan in the northeast, Capiz on the east, Iloilo in the southeast, and the Sulu Sea on the west. This is also the reason why Antique holds various tourist spots that are perfect for both trekkers and divers.
But even if you’re neither, you can still visit the province. It is an ideal place to hang out with family and friends or enjoy a peaceful time all by yourself.
Just in case you’re planning to go there, make sure to create a travel itinerary by listing all the tourist spots in Antique that you’d like to visit. If you have no idea where to go, worry not, as this list will help you out.
Here are the top ten tourist spots in Antique you shouldn’t miss during your visit.
1. Malalison Island
Malalison or Mararison Island is a patch of sand in the middle of the sea, situated just behind Boracay, one of the famous beaches in the country. The island, however, is less crowded than the famous Boracay, so you will surely enjoy a quiet stroll along its coast while listening to the soothing sound of the sea waves. Make sure to go there early in the morning so you can still catch the stunning sunrise.
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2. Tibiao River
Tibiao is definitely one of the tourist spots in Antique that thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies must tick off their bucket list. It boasts a roiling, angry waters in which you can enjoy river tubing or whitewater kayaking. Guides in Tibiao also recommend visiting the river during the rainy season if you’re into more extreme adventures.
3. Kawa Inn
After a tiring adventure on Tibiao River, head off to Kawa Inn, a hotel where you can enjoy a relaxing stay and be one with nature. The inn offers a unique room option: a bahay kubo equipped with an air-conditioning unit. There’s also a newly built swimming pool in the area, where you can take a splash while enjoying the breathtaking view of the mountains. Besides that, Kawa Inn also offers an extraordinary hot bath in their large kawa, a local term for cauldron.
4. Caluwag Mountain Resort
The Kawa Inn is a bit far from the Tibiao River, so you might want to check other hotels that are closer to the river. One of the best alternatives is the Caluwag Mountain Resort, a sister establishment of the Kawa Inn. They still offer the same services as the inn, including the kawa hot bath.
5. Iraynon-Bukidnon Terraces
The indigenous people of Antique, the Iraynon Bukidnon, pride themselves for making and preserving the Iraynon-Bukidnon Terraces. It is deemed as a cultural treasure, discovered only in 2014 by Emmanuel Lerona, a faculty member of University of the Philippines–Visayas. It is one of the must-visit tourist spots in Antique, but you will have to endure a long trek to get there. So make sure to pack food and water and do some stretches before going to Iraynon-Bukidnon Terraces.
6. Sibalom Natural Park
Sibalom Natural Park is home to one of the world’s biggest flowers, the rafflesias, a genus of parasitic flowering plants. However, these flowers only bloom at certain times, and when they do, it lasts for a couple of days only. So before you plan a trip to the natural park, consult the locals and tour guides about the best time to go.
7. Bayukbok Cave
Antique has islands, rivers, rice terraces, and natural parks. Not only that, the province has gorgeous caves too! One of them is the Bayukbok Cave, located on the mountain of Manalmon. You will have to climb up, scramble down, and crawl to get there, so you must condition your body before you go spelunking. You’ll pass by Madlum River as well, where you can watch the summit of Mt. Gola.
8. Malumpati Cold Spring
If you are craving a relaxed day, there’s no better place to spend it than at Malumpati Cold Spring. Here, you can take a refreshing dip in the cold water spring, chill in a cabana, or enjoy a variety of native food sold at nearby restaurants. Surprisingly, the nearby hotels and restaurants are relatively inexpensive, making the Malumpati Cold Spring a place to be for families and friends who are on a tight budget.
9. Nogas Island
Nogas Island is one of the beautiful tourist spots in Antique. It boasts white-sand beaches with pristine waters where you can snorkel all day long. Apart from that, the island has a kalachuchi flower walkway and an old lighthouse that you can explore. There are fascinating rubber trees and mangrove forests along the shore too.
10. San Jose’s Purple House
A cute purple house can be found in San Jose, Antique. The home’s exteriors and interiors are painted purple. Not only that! Its furniture and rooms, kitchen utensils, and home accessories are all purple. The whole house exudes warmth, but you might not be allowed inside since it’s owned by a family residing in the town. However, you can always take a photo of it outside; just don’t forget to ask permission first.
These tourist spots in Antique are just few of the wonders offered by the province. There are more sites you can visit there. Just ask around and the locals will be more than happy to share some tips.
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